Archive for September, 2008

Onam was Everywhere….




Onam is the festival of prosperity, harmony, feasts, flowers, sharing , enjoyment and welcoming the King who is believed to visit his people every year.

Onam is the festival of Kerala, of every individual Keralite. Onam depicts the arrangements for and the arrival of the king Mahabali, who long ago used to rule this region.

Writing anything about Onam will be complete only when its purpose is emphasised. So let us get to know about it.

    King  Mahabali ( though a demon king) was very powerful, wise and kind. His time was marked with prosperity , harmony and happiness. He got so powerful and loved by all people that, he was ready to take over all the world under his control. Sensing the danger of its impact, God MahaVishnu, from prayers and pleadings by heavenly Entities came in disguise of Vaamana ( one among the Ten Avatar) to the king. Vaamana – a short young brahmin.          

Being so generous, King Mahabali was ready to give anything that is asked by this divine one. It is said that the king came to know about the truth behind this disguise, but was humble enough to give away everything. So when Vaamana asked for 3feet of land, the king was ready and soon Vaamana grew so big and huge that only his single foot covered the whole Earth. Another foot up to the sky and heaven, had left with one more foot of land as promised by the king. So then the King very humbly asked Vaamana to place that last foot over his head , and as done, the King was gone to the paatala , to the depths. The king loved his people so much that he prayed to Lord MahaVishnu to grant him the right to visit his people every year on that day.

So that is the day people all over Kerala, celebrate as Onam, welcoming their beloved king and pleasing him by floral carpets, feasts and showing him that all of them are happy.

For some Onam is all about the lavish yet very divine feast, for some its all about floral carpets and swings, for some its wearing new clothes.

As my memory goes I had enjoyed every Onam with my creations of floral carpets. Now living in Kerala, I understand the importance of the feast. For ten long days every home will have floral carpets in front of their homes and on the tenth day is the feast. Arranging the flowers as well as the feast is very divine.      


Getting up early , wearing new clothes, arranging the flowers and going to temple, preparing the lunch, it was all a very nice experience for me this time.

I was very happy to dare to prepare the lunch successfully. I must thank my H for his support and my foodie blog angel Seena for helping to trust myself. The feast was simple and comparatively small yet was fulfilling! the important thing is , traditionally no onion or garlic is used in the recipes, it is done without tasting anything while cooking, and is served first to the King in plantain leaf complete with payasam and water, in front of the lamp. For me it was a very divine feeling of welcoming the king and serving the food and praying! Really a cherished one!  

                                          An illuminated building                                   


And after feasting to our hearts content it was time to go visit the places of celebration in many venues and delight at the illuminations and enjoyment. It was like everyone forgot all their sorrows and everyone was so indulged in merriment!… Off course, those who were with pain due to many reasons were in my mind all the time.

                                   colourfull illumination!                                       

So one more Onam had come and gone … bringing a new meaning for all the celebrations, deep inside my heart! So thought of sharing the happiness and divinity that Onam brings….

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